Time Well-Spent: The Test of a True Chicago Friend

Today I visited a Chicago friend from college. She also gave me a wonderful haircut! 

But the thing that I’ll remember is how caring she was about making sure I arrived– and left– safely. She’s always been this way– generous, protective, and always a good time! She has a loud, incredible laugh.

For me, the true test of a Chicago friend is whether they are willing to help me find parking or meet me outside places when we’re meeting up. That’s just basic safety, especially since I’m female. Those are the friends I’m willing to invest the gas and traffic time and parking fees to go see. I’ve had others who are pre-occupied and offer no help about this– and I end up driving around and wasting gas, sometimes late at night, in areas I’m not familiar. Over-paying for parking. They live there, they know the great parking spots, it’s only fair that they help out. If not, I find myself avoiding going to see them or just relegating our friendship to facebook acquaintances. 

She left her salon to meet me outside by the parking garage. I had offered to walk to meet her, but she told me to just stay put and she would come get me. She also gave me a garage nearby for which she would validate parking so I could save money. After my haircut, she also went with me to the parking garage and waited with me– at least 10 minutes, to be sure I was safe and got my car. I was grateful to have all this extra time with her. 

It was afternoon– not a dangerous time. We were in a busy, safe area of the city.

She went above and beyond for me. We’ve been friends since 1999. 

She’s a gracious, wonderful woman. I’m so proud to call her my friend. We talk on the phone regularly but don’t see each other often, since I live in the suburbs. 

And I just have to thank her and brag a little bit today. And hopefully some Chicago or otherwise urban person will read this and consider this etiquette for their suburban friends who make the trek to see them. 

Thanks, Nicki. You made my day. 

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